COMING IN JANUARY TO CINECENTA!
JAN 13 (2:30 matinee & 7:00 & 9:00)
JAN 14 & 15 (7:00 & 9:00)
MILAREPA: MAGICIAN, MURDERER, SAINT
Directed by Neten Chokling (India/Bhutan, 2006, 90 min; Tibetan with subtitles
“I cry, weep, and feel a strong sense of faith each time I hear the story of Milarepa , the great yogi of Tibet.” –the Dalai Lama
"Milarepa, a picturesque fable filmed in the mountains of northern India, shows us how most roads to spiritual enlightenment are paved with suffering. Set in the 11th century, this Tibetan film retells the story of Thopaga, an impoverished villager who would eventually became the enlightened Milarepa, one of Tibet's most revered saints. But his path to bliss followed a traumatic chapter marked with tragedy, injustice, vengeful sorcery and the destruction of his village. When his affluent father dies, young Thopaga (Jamyang Lodro, who played a soccer-crazy monk in Khyentse Norbu's The Cup), is forced to live with his scheming uncle and aunt. Instead of honoring the dying man's wishes to bequeath his money to Thopaga, the uncle refuses. Thopaga learns the ways of black magic from a mystic. But he learns that retribution compounds, rather than solves, injustice. First-time director Neten Chokling (who played the other soccer fan in The Cup) combines old-time lore with modest special effects to evoke this otherworldly story. But what really reaches us is the collective presence of the cast, most of them monks and other acting amateurs. They seem uniformly imbued with inherent grace and effortless spiritual bearing. And their smallest of gestures exude the kind of un-self-conscious gravitas that constitutes all fables.” –Washington Post
“It would have been impossible to shoot this film in Tibet. Chinese authorities still forbid the depiction of superstition in films. So the film was shot on the Indian side of the Himalayas, where Chokling -- who's a lama himself -- heads a monastery.”—Hollywood Reporter “THIS FILM IS WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD!”–Spirituality & Practice
JAN 20 (2:30 matinee & 7:00 & 9:00)
JAN 21 - 24 (7:00 & 9:00)
Find Nirvana in the kitchen.
HOW TO COOK YOUR LIFE
Directed by Doris Dörrie (Germany, 2007, 93 minutes; rated PG)
“Tasteful in more ways than one, this mischievous and charming documentary serves up a heapin' helping of Zen priest, cook and bestselling food author Edward Espe Brown, steeped through the happy, healthy worldview of director Doris Dörrie.” –Variety
“The Food Channel puts very little emphasis on this, but according to master chef Edward Espe Brown, the essential ingredient for good food is a touch of Zen. Of course, Brown also happens to be a Zen priest. Brown is the Bay Area author of The Tassajara Bread Book and The Tassajara Recipe Book, among other well-known titles, and a longtime teacher of meditation and Zen techniques. Now he is the subject of an amusing and insightful documentary by German filmmaker Doris Dörrie (Men, Nobody Loves Me, Enlightenment Guaranteed). How to Cook Your Life certainly will do much better than other documentries on religious or self-help topics because its focus is on a thing everyone can relate to -- food.
Food preparation and cooking are the lighthearted means by which Brown expresses his Zen philosophy, bringing every thing down to tasks we all perform almost every day. Dörrie and her crew sat in on cooking sessions with Brown and a class of enthusiastic students of all generations at several Buddhist centers in California and one in Austria. Brown makes a charismatic central figure as he is a modest yet self-assured man with an easy laugh and the instincts of a natural-born teacher.
The movie's title sums up the Brown approach best. The act of cooking serves as an apt metaphor for the Zen approach to life. We are not cooking the food, he insists, but rather the food is cooking us. In other words, treat each task with the utmost care and concentration, for these are, in fact, spiritual acts.” –Hollywood Reporter
“The art of Zen and vegetable preparation is at the heart of director Doris Dörrie's delightful documentary Brown became the head cook at the Tassajara Mountain Centre in California when he was in his early 20s, and has been practicing the art of Zen Buddhism and cooking for more than 40 years. As a chef, he is typically short-tempered and exacting, but as a Buddhist master he is exactly the opposite. Dörrie sets her camera on Espe Brown as he travels, offering cooking seminars based upon the principles established 800 years ago by Master Eihei Dogen Zenji, the founder of the Japanese Soto-Zen school. From washing rice, to preparing vegetables, every action could be a path to Zen. A charming taskmaster who regularly punctures his holiness with moments of self-deprecation and humour, Espe Brown's observations on modern culture, cooking and human foibles are often as acerbic and hilarious as they are profound. A COMPLETE JOY OF A FILM.” –Vancouver International Film Festival
student union building, university of victoria